Ask any good salesperson whether they still use traditional ‘closing techniques’ and you’ll get a wide range of answers. There certainly are a lot of sales trainers who promote learning a myriad of closing strategies but obviously just knowing closing strategies is not going to separate you from your competition. Anyway, it’s always fun to go over what’s been used over the years so just in case you might have forgotten, here are a few of the standards.
- Assumptive Close– still a classic because it’s easy and natural to use if everything is basically going OK during the sales process. You basically just assume the prospect is ready to buy and proceed to the next buying step (e.g. choosing a delivery date, quantity, color, etc.). The challenge here is if you mis-read the prospect, and they aren’t ready to buy, they’ll easily recognize this strategy and question you using it.
- Alternative Choice Close – is a little less assumptive since it asks the customer to specify one of two buying options. They certainly have the option of rejecting both and saying no, but if you’ve properly read the situation and use this approach correctly, it can help push them along and commit.
- Impending Event Close – is used if you really need a commitment now and are willing to risk it a bit. We’ve all heard this one before. This is where the salesperson offers the product with a very clear offer that is only available if ordered today because of an impending event (i.e. price increase, lack of inventory, one-time special, etc) that will happen if the order is delayed.
Do these really work? Probably not but they are still worth knowing about. If you’re really into these types of things (which is kind of fun for some people) then check out this site – Sales Closing Techniques.
The closing techniques that work the best for me and my style of selling are;
- Progressive Close – works very well in consultative selling. You simply make sure to get progressive ‘closes’ as you move through your sales presentation. For example, you might start out asking ‘is this something you think might be of interest to people in your industry?’ and then follow it up later with ‘Is this something that might be of interest to you?’ and if things are going really well asking ‘Do you think this is something we can move forward with?’.
- Thermometer Close– is a favorite of Sandler Sales Training. If you sense that you’re making progress and addressing the prospect’s pain points, you stop and ask ‘On a scale of 1 to 10, where 1 means we shouldn’t even keep talking and 10 means you are ready to buy, where do you think we currently are?’. Regardless of what they answer you follow up by asking them ‘What would you want to see (or hear) to get us to a 10?’. This type of close works very well and actually gets the prospect to tell you what to do to close the deal!
Remember ABC (always be closing)!
– Steve (www.SPMsolutions.NET)